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14th to 18th September

Less prestigious than its counterparts in New York, Milan and Paris, London Fashion Week relies on its funkier outlook and its reputation as a hothouse for emerging design talent. The British capital has also been named global fashion capital” by the US-based Global Language Monitor (GLM), a key trend watcher, for the second consecutive year. “London’s two-year run has been propelled by two rather extraordinary circumstances: the emergence of the former Kate Middleton as a top fashion icon and the recent completion of what have been hailed as an extremely successful Summer Olympics.

Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes won their gold medals in clothing designed by one of London fashion’s biggest stars, Stella McCartney, in collaboration with Adidas.Yet the proof that one of London’s few powerhouse brands, Burberry, is suffering from China’s economic slowdown has threatened to spoil the party.

The luxury clothing and accessories group saw its shares tumble by almost 21 percent on Tuesday after it issued a surprise profits warning, although the stock price has climbed since. Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, admitted the state of the global economy was forcing the industry to change its behaviour.

“Every sector is hit by the crisis,” she said. “I think what it is making us think and do is look at global markets, look at opportunity, look at products and look at design and look at things that are different. “It’s that creativity and interesting product that we have in London that is continuing to see many of our designer businesses continue to go from strength to strength.”

Another British brand which has scored success in Asia, Mulberry, will once again be one of the most eagerly awaited shows when it takes to the catwalk on Tuesday. Vivienne Westwood, the queen of punk who is still spawning imitations four decades later, will present Red Label, her diffusion collection or secondary line. Westwood has followedMcCartney and Alexander McQueen in refusing to show her main collection in London, but the organisers point to the presence of influential names such as Christopher Kane to redress the balance. Hatmaker Philip Treacy, who designed the extraordinary headwear sported by Princess Beatrice at last year’s wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, returns to London to show his latest creations. Names such as Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto and Erdem promise to add a splash of colour to the shows, while several designers have created a special one-off collection inspired by the unique style of Minnie Mouse.

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Written by Lauren Fitzsimmons

Lauren Fitzsimmons could be considered as an all-round fashion geek with an additional passion for travel, photography and writing. She studies International Fashion Marketing in Manchester and is currently responsible for Catwalk Yourself communications.

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